(Update: Adding video, comments from skiers, Snolab manager)
SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Hoodoo Ski Area opened its season Friday morning, with a line of excited skiers and snowboarders waiting for “first chair.”
The fastening of boots, cleaning of the lifts and all-around excitement is back for many Hoodoo regulars.
“I’m stoked -- we got up here last night and we spent the night in the back of our trucks so we could get first chair -- and here we are, first chair!” said Tanner Pease, a snowboarder from Sisters.
“You know I’ve been looking forward to this day for 17 years,” Hollie Lewis, a skier from Sisters said with a smile. “Yeah my whole life -- I love opening day.”
“You know, I got to convince the parents to miss some school and come out here with the boys and shred some powder,” saud Easton McDonald, a skier from Springfield who has been skiing at Hoodoo for 10 years.
A dry November and early December made some skiers and snowboarders nervous, and they were relieved to see the mountain covered in white.
“I was hoping for it -- it came very fast, and I’m very glad that it did, but it was a little later than I would like,” Pease said.
“It's so nice the snow kind of all came at once and then here we are opening day,” said Presley Adelt, a skier from Sisters.
McDonald added, “Well, I look at the Hoodoo website every day to see how much snow they’re getting -- and then in like three days they got 30 inches, and we knew it would be open this weekend. So we had to get ready, and I’m so excited!”
In addition to the fresh snowfall, Hoodoo is also offering something unique at its Santiam Snolab.
The shop allows you to custom-build a pair of skis or a snowboard for nearly the same price as one off the shelves.
Hank Gulledge department manager of the Snolab, said, “We spend a couple of weeks discussing and finalizing the performance design, and then an aesthetic design. Then that individual comes in one day, and in that one day, they build themselves, with my help, about 80% of their skis or snowboard.”
As long as you schedule ahead of time and have some imagination, Gulldege said any board or pair is possible.
“If we can dream it up, and our tools can handle it, we can make it the next day,” Gulledge said.